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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Spurs prepared for revenge

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Spurs came prepared and shut down the Jazz for two key stretches lead to a Spurs win in San Antonio.

  • Sense a pattern here. Spurs played 4 games against two opponents.  They played Jazz-Lakers-Lakers-Jazz.  They lost the first and won the 2nd both times. It is really hard to beat a good team twice in a short period of time.

 

  • Spurs came prepared. They made adjustments on offense to go after the jazz with a pick and pop offense.  They never posted Aldridge all night.   They let him play against Rudy on the outside off the pick and roll largely with Patty Mills.   DeRozan played his usual isolation game but more off actions than in the previous match up.

 

  • Defensively the Spurs were not going to let Joe Ingles shoot and they weren’t going to let Rudy Gobert roll. They eliminated the two most efficient aspects of the Jazz offense.  This left the Jazz to Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell taking all the shots.

 

  • The Jazz started well but when they went to the bench it was a mess and the Jazz game changed. Dante got the first shot at back up point guard and he made a few defensive mistakes, telegraphed a pass to Favors for a turnover and his 2 minutes resulted in a -7.  Then Donovan played the point in the 2nd quarter and the Jazz missed 8 straight shots in the midst of a Spurs 17-0 run.   Then to close the quarter the Jazz were on the wrong side again missing 7 straight shots and the Spurs went on a 12-0 run.

 

  • The Jazz trailed by 21 in the 3rd

 

  • Impressively the Jazz battled back to get the game to within 5 points, but the margin for error is so small that to come back from 21 down you have to make every little play and have every bounce go your way. The opposite happened.  As well as the Jazz were playing in their rally none of those plays went the Jazz way.

 

  • Rudy Gay who was scoreless in Salt Lake City was mammoth tonight. He had 23 points and 15 rebounds.  He made a ton of plays of loose ball and broken plays and they went old school post up to him on multiple occasions.

 

  • The Jazz hit 20 of 33 threes v. the Spurs last time and this time they didn’t hit early missing their first 8 attempts. When the Jazz miss threes they lose confidence in the offense and they start to play out of their skill sets and it leads to the droughts.

 

  • Donovan Mitchell scored all 26 points in the 2nd He went scoreless in the first half which made it 4 straight quarters without scoring.

 

  • Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills were game changers for the Spurs.

 

  • The Patty Mills – LaMarcus Aldridge was a problem for the Jazz tonight. Mills would come off the pick and drive at Rudy then flip it back for Aldridge.  The defender on the ball handler has to be on the ball stronger so he can get back in front of the ball so Rudy can get back to LaMarcus and Rudy has to be up a bit more and not absorb as much so that he can get back to Aldridge to impact him.  However, this is really hard and Aldridge made an unusual amount of shots.  The Jazz could have defended it better but the Spurs had a specific plan.  Mills would snake under the pick and roll so that Rudy’s route to get back to the ball was lengthy and almost impossible.  The ability to snake back underneath made the play.

 

  • Ricky Rubio had 26 points on 11 of 23 shooting and 3 of 8 from three. Over the past 12 games he is nearly 50% from the field and 40% from three.

 

  • Thabo Sefolosha gave the Jazz really strong play in the 2nd He had 4 of the 8 field goals in the quarter.

 

  • Jazz play the Spurs one more time in Salt Lake. A chance to win the season series from the Spurs would be great.

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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